LONG READ: TENUE DE NÎMES x ALBIATE 1830 (SHIRTS MADE IN ITALY)
This article appeared in issue 14 of our Journal de Nîmes.
Italy is synonymous with sartorial class. The country has a long history in shirt-making, with Albiate as one of the founding fathers. Relying on almost two centuries of experience, the fabric mill is the perfect collaboration partner for our special line-up of Tenue de Nîmes shirts. This has resulted in the first two iterations: An 'American’ button-down shirt named ‘Ralph’ and an Italian sartorial shirt by the name of ‘Frank’. How Italian craftsmanship and ancient traditions brought us two modern day staples.
We immediately fell in love with the richness and utmost in quality Albiate offers. Our first visit to their factory in the mountains 60 kilometres outside of Milan, instantly persuaded us to cut our shirts from Albiate cloth. The amount of love and dedication that is put into the fabrics is unrivaled. If Italy would be the sports car manufacturer of the world, Albiate is Ferrari.
The journey started with the careful selection of fabrics for our Tenue de Nîmes shirts. We selected the most precious poplin cotton for the ‘Frank’ shirt - the name Frank is derived from Frank Sinatra. The fabric is so dense, the hand feel is almost like silk. For ‘Ralph’ we challenged the craftsman at Albiate to find us a thick yet soft fabric, comparable to the cloth used in American Ivy League style, made into an art form in the 80s and 90s by our personal icon Ralph Lauren, hence the name ‘Ralph’.
You can image it feels like an incredible honour that our shirts are cut from fabric made by the masters among the fabric weavers. The quality that has been put into the weaving and manufacturing process is a derivate of our ‘Buy Less Pay More’ motto. By investing in high standard, timeless garments, we can really contribute to a more environmental friendly fashion industry. Both Frank and Ralph are made to last: The shirts age beautifully over time. Even after hundreds of washing spins, they will keep their appeal. Making sure one can enjoy their shirt or jean for a seriously longer periode of time, you have to work with the best. Therefore Albiate. Word. Or like the Italians say: “Basta.”
More info about 'poplin' fabric:Poplin is a ‘plain weave’ fabric. That means the horizontal and vertical yarn alternate over and under each other. Applying this method, makes the fabric dense and strong. Although the first ‘poplin’ cloths date back to the 15th century, the cotton poplin we know nowadays was first used in the 19th century. Cotton poplin has the ability to adapt to weather conditions: keeping you warm when it’s cold, and vice versa. We cut our ‘Frank’ shirt from cotton poplin, a more formal version that perfectly functions as a dress shirt, due to its ‘silky’ hand-feel.
More info about 'oxford' fabric:As the name suggests, Oxford fabric is derived from the Universities. Students in the 19th century campuses were fond of the ‘basket’ structure. Oxford cloth has a rougher structure compared to poplin. This is due to the fact the multiple yarns are horizontally woven over a single vertical thread. The more yarns you use, the thicker and sturdier the cloth. You can experiment by using different dyed yarns and create a unique hue. Our ‘Ralph’ is made from oxford cotton.
More info about 'denim' fabric: Indigo fabric for shirts is a thinner and light-weight version of the cloth generally used for denim. The dyeing process for both garments is similar, hence a shirt cut from indigo fabric, will show equal fading patterns like jeans. Otherwise, after every wash and wear, indigo fabric will become lighter, making it a ‘living fabric’. The evolution is so personal: every wearer will leave his personal ‘blueprint’.
Tenue de Nîmes shirting: ‘Frank’ and ‘Ralph’ are the result of our quest for the perfect shirt and both contemporary interpretations of our favourite all-time classics. Frank is a sartorial dress shirt from a premium poplin fabric. The shirt is offered in four colours: black, navy, white and the latest addition: a light blue version. It has a normal collar with removable collar stiffeners. ‘Ralph’ is a button-down shirt crafted from oxford fabric and available in a light blue and white version. Both shirts are styled with a subtly embroidered Tenue de Nîmes cross logo at the hem and mother of pearl buttons: the ultimate sign of luxury in shirt making.